Shady Habash, the young Egyptian director of the video for the protest song Balaha has died inside the walls of Cairo’s Tora Prison. Habash was only 24 years old. He had spent 26 months in the prison after being charged with terrorism for taking part in creating said music video that authorities stated used insulting names for the Egyptian president.
The musician and activist in the video, Ramy Essam, paid tribute to his friend on Facebook saying that Habash was “the kindest and bravest of people. He never hurt anyone”. Essam is currently living in exile because of the Balaha video.
Essam finished his post by saying that it wasn’t a song that killed Shady Hasbah.
“What killed Shady was the dictatorship and the horrendous violation of his human rights, and we have to demand for the investigation of his death caused by denial of medical care. We have to stop the same violation happening to Galal El-Behairy and Mustafa Gamal, who are still behind bars because of a song, suffering from human rights violations as thousands of others.”
Essam created the Balaha Case campaign which raises awareness of and fights for the freeing of the rest of his artistic crew that are still in prison in Egypt.
On March 20th, 2020, which was a Friday, Bandcamp decided to waive their revenue share from all sold music in order to support independent musicians that are being tremendously affected by the global Covid-19 virus.
The result: fans bought 4.3 million dollars worth of music which is 15 times the normal Friday. This global initiative helped artists around the world to pay their rent, pay their medical bills and so much more. This was a unique and incredible feat.
But the virus and the crisis is still going strong and so Bandcamp has decided to up their game and waive their revenue share on three upcoming dates: the first Friday of the next three months, May 1st, June 5th and July 3rd.
If you want to support independent musicians around the world during these peculiar and difficult times then checking out awesome music on Bandcamp on the before mentioned dates is a great start.
The legendary protest song, written by Dolores O’Riordan and performed by her Irish band The Cranberries, has long reigned as one of the more powerful political music pieces of the last few decades.
‘Zombie’ had a rough start as a music video because it was initally banned from being shown on the BBC because of images of children playing with guns and other weapons.
2 years after O’Riordan sadly passed away and 26 years after it’s release the song has now reached a new milestone. Over a billion people have now watched the music video on Youtube, placing the band and song in a rather exclusive club among mostly unpolitical songs.
Scrolling through the Wikipedia list of the top 30 most viewed music videos it seems like there is no protest music there. Perhaps a change is coming and the masses now want to hear more important music.